HP aligns Alabama’s health care system with HIPAA regs

$135M contract extends 30-year relationship with state agency

Hewlett-Packard Co. will bring Alabama’s state medical system in line with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act under an eight-year, $135 million technology services contract.

HP will work with the Alabama Medicaid Agency to help the state meet HIPAA regulations, contain costs and improve health care delivery, and assure provider satisfaction and recipient access to personal health care information, according to an Aug. 24 HP announcement.

As Alabama’s fiscal agent, HP will significantly enhance and continue to manage the state’s Medicaid Management Information System.

HP built Alabama’s interChange, the new Medicaid Management Information System, in 2008. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services certified the MMIS earlier this year.

HP processed nearly 32 million Medicaid claims for Alabama health care providers in 2009.

The system enhancements called for in the contract include Web-based mechanisms to streamline interaction with providers, improve prescription services and give Medicaid recipients convenient access to information.

HP will upgrade the system’s standard electronic transaction codes and assess the system for changes to support the new diagnosis code set, which will help the state agency prepare for the federally required upgrade, resulting in better information and patient care.

HP also will incorporate e-prescribing into the Alabama MMIS to streamline and secure the prescription process, develop a Web site where beneficiaries can have secure online access to their personal health information, and check program eligibility and update the information.

The contract also calls for HP to implement an automated process for providers to enroll in Medicaid. The automated process will be faster than today’s paper-based process and is expected to reduce costs by eliminating the need to hand-process more than 50,000 pieces of paper and 1,500 mailings per month, the HP announcement states.

Also, the HP will transfer the state agency’s data storage to an HP storage-area network.

The new contract extends HP’s 30-year relationship with the state agency, which oversees the Medicaid program for more than 900,000 state residents each year.

HP is the nation’s largest provider of Medicaid and Medicare process management services, administering $95 billion in benefits a year, and serves as fiscal agent or principal IT provider for Medicaid in 21 states, the statement said.

Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 12 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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